Does owning a franchise offer a family-friendly career?

Angie Coates, founder/CEO of Monkey Music and mum to 5 children, believes that owning the right Franchise may offer the ultimate balance of family and working life.

Does owning a franchise offer a family-friendly career?

Many parents clearly feel under pressure. Among adults with dependent children 76% of women and 92% of men work1 and yet only 23% of parents feel that they have the right balance of time and money to thrive2. Instead of ploughing on and hoping that things will get easier when the children get older, changing career now could help balance family and professional life.

I started Monkey Music 30 years ago when I realised that having my own business was the best way to flex work around my parenting and it’s a concept that is embedded in many franchise business models including my own.

What kind of people choose to own a franchise?

While running any business is undoubtedly a full-time job, if you choose the right franchise for you, it can also dovetail with family life. The Monkey Music family of franchisees consists primarily of parents: parents who decided on a career change during maternity leave, single mums, parents of tweens and empty nesters. Some are the main bread winners in their family, others provide a second income. Some operate on their own, others as partnerships and several are husband and wife teams.

Their backgrounds are as diverse as music, finance and pharmaceuticals but what they have in common is energy, drive and resilience. Almost every one will tell you that now they own their own business they work harder than ever before. However, they’ll also tell you that it rarely feels like work because they are doing it for their own benefit and on their own terms. They control the balance between the precious time they spend with their family and the precious time spent building their business.

Why do people choose to join a Franchise Network?

As a franchisee, you can decide when and how you work, albeit within the terms of your franchise Agreement and as per the guidelines set out in the Franchise Operating Manual. And of course, as you would expect, as a business owner you are the primary beneficiary of your franchise’s success, so the more time you devote to growing and managing your team and your business, the more likely you are to be financially successful.

The most immediate difference between franchising and owning an independent small business is that investing in a franchise is much lower risk than starting your own business. Fewer than 1% of franchises close each year due to commercial failure3 compared with 20% of UK start-ups4.

Franchise unit failure rate is so much lower than for independent start-ups because, in simple terms, a franchise is a flat pack of a proven business model. The franchisor provides all the essential elements to build a successful business but ultimately how well it performs will depend on how the franchisee puts it together and maintains it. Because they take a percentage of franchisees’ turnover or profit, it’s in the franchisor’s interest to provide ongoing support and training that will help its franchisees be as successful as possible.

All of the support and training that the Head Office Team provides not only reduces the risk and improves profitability, but it can also help to secure funding to buy your franchise. Furthermore, it reduces the everyday workload on franchisees, freeing them up to focus on building the business.

Franchisors typically provide initial and ongoing training on the product and service, the brand, and all aspects of business operations such as marketing, website and health and safety. There will be a Franchise Operating Manual and Document Library with bespoke templates, marketing tools and documents that underpin the business model. This toolbox of materials is ready to use, helping franchisees scale up their businesses, whereas an independent business owner has to produce their own, potentially cutting into valuable time that could otherwise be spent growing the business or with family.

Are all franchises equally family-friendly?

Researching franchises before investing will help find one that is a good fit for you and your circumstances, maximising your chances of success. Initial investment levels differ as do the potential and probable returns. The support and training provided by franchisors varies. Finding a product or service you are passionate about and a culture that fits your personality will make a world of difference to the effort you are happy to put into your new career. And in terms of family-friendliness, some franchises will be better suited to your circumstances than others.

For example, while Monkey Music classes primarily take place during weekdays in school term time, franchisees may deliver birthday parties, workshops and other sessions at other times, including weekends. All aspects of the Monkey Music Experience can be delivered by specially trained Monkey Music qualified teachers who benefit from flexible training options both online and in-person. Most of the ongoing network training of franchisees is delivered at the weekends with opportunities to join either live streamed or recorded training. The general business admin and marketing can be done whenever it suits the franchisee or they can engage someone to support them. The flexibility is there for those who want it.

So, if you want to change things up then do your research and you may find a franchise that flexes around your circumstances, delivers the lifestyle you want and enables you to be a full-time parent with a full-time job.

This article comes courtesy of Monkey Music a leading light in premium pre-school music education, offering a 4-stage age-specific curricula for babies and young children from 3 months – 4 years old in the UK.  All franchisees are provided with an extensive teaching and business training programme.

1 Office for National Statistics 

2 The Modern Families Index 2018

3 2018 FranchiseLandscape

4 https:/

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